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Drivers who are convicted of serious traffic violations in Virginia may be required to hold an SR-22 certificate in order to reinstate their suspended license. Commonly referred to as SR-22 insurance, this certificate is actually not insurance at all, but acts as proof that the driver holds the minimum auto insurance required by their state. In Virginia, however, some circumstances may necessitate an FR-44, which involves much more severe consequences than the standard SR-22 forms used across other states.
What is “SR-22 Insurance?”
Contrary to popular belief, SR-22 forms are not insurance at all. Rather, an SR-22 form is a special certificate that is filed with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles which signifies that you hold the minimum auto insurance required by your state. Virginia generally uses the form FR-44 for more severe situations, which may be issued to drivers who:
- Have unsatisfied judgements
- Fail to provide proof of insurance
- Operate a motor vehicle without insurance
- Falsify auto insurance certifications
- Are convicted of vehicular manslaughter
- Commit perjury regarding vehicle registration or a valid driver’s license
- Commit a felony that involves a motor vehicle
- Are involved in a hit-and-run
- Are convicted of maiming under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, driving with a suspended license, or found guilty in any juvenile case
To receive an SR-22 certificate in Virginia, drivers will first need to provide proof of financial responsibility. This is typically done by obtaining a high-risk insurance policy. Once you have a qualifying insurance policy in place, notify your carrier of the SR-22 requirement. After they have completed the form, they should submit it to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles where it will remain on-file for at least three consecutive years.
SR-22 Virginia Alternatives
If the violation you committed is particularly severe, Virginia may issue what’s known as an FR-44. These certificates are for violations involving maiming under the influence, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, or being convicted in any juvenile case. Depending on the state in which you live, you may be required to file an SR-44 or alternative in accordance with your state’s guidelines. The following outlines the different forms similar to SR-22s that may be required:
|Form||States issued||Required insurance minimums|
|SR-22||All states except Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania||Insurance minimums vary by state|
|FR-19||Delaware and Maryland||
Delaware: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage
Maryland: $30,000 per person/$60,000 per accident/$15,000 per property damage
|SR-21||Hawaii||$20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage|
|SR-22A||Georgia||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$25,000 per property damage|
|FR-44||Florida and Virginia||
Florida: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident/$50,000 per property damage
Virginia: $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident/$40,000 per property damage
|SR-50||Indiana||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident/$10,000 per property damage|
- FR-19: These forms are issued in Delaware and Maryland, and serve to verify that the driver currently holds the minimum insurance required by their state. Unlike SR-22s which are required for drivers who have been convicted of more serious driving violations, FR-19 forms simply act as verification of coverage.
- SR-21: Unique to Hawaii, SR-21 forms certify that drivers have the minimum liability insurance required by the state. Drivers who have committed a DUI or multiple moving violations may be required to file an SR-21 form.
- SR-22A: In Georgia, drivers seeking to reinstate their suspended license will need to file the Georgia Safety Responsibility Insurance Certificate known as an SR-22A. These certificates are required to remain in effect for at least three consecutive years from the date of your conviction.
- FR-44: Virginia drivers may be penalized more severely with an FR-44 depending on the type of violation they commit. Only used in Virginia and Florida, these forms increase the minimum coverage requirements for high-risk drivers dramatically. In Virginia, those required to hold an FR-44 are obligated to hold at least double the minimum auto insurance required in the state.
- SR-50: An SR-50 form is issued only in Indiana if the state notifies you that you are required to hold such a certificate. Usually, drivers receive notification if they are found to be driving without the minimum required insurance or if they have had their license suspended.
If you have received an SR-22 requirement but no longer — or do not currently — own your own vehicle and still wish to reinstate your license, you’ll likely need to obtain a non-owners auto insurance policy. A non-owners auto insurance policy is issued to drivers who do not own the vehicle they operate. This form will certify that you have the minimum state-required auto insurance under a non-owners insurance policy, and will enable you to fulfill the requirements of an SR-22.
FR-44 in Virginia
If a driver commits a particularly serious offense in Virginia, they may be required to hold an FR-44. An FR-44 is different from an SR-22 in that it requires drivers to hold twice the minimum required auto insurance in the state. FR-44s are required for the following convictions:
- Maiming while under the influence
- Driving while under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- Driving while the driver’s license has been forfeited for a conviction, or a guilty conviction in a juvenile case
- Violation of the provisions of any federal law or law of any other state or any valid local ordinance similar to the aforementioned violations
When a driver is required to hold an FR-44 in Virginia, they must have the following insurance coverage limits in place:
- $50,000 per person
- $100,000 per accident
- $40,000 per property damage
SR-22 Virginia Insurance Costs
It should come as no surprise that high-risk drivers will pay higher rates for their auto insurance coverage than those who have desirable driving histories. In Virginia, drivers filing an SR-22 or FR-44 will pay between $15 and $35 for a filing fee. Because FR-44 certificates require drivers to hold double the minimum coverage amount, a direct impact to insurance cost is that you may need to increase policy limits.
Otherwise, the insurance costs associated with SR-22s pertains more to what driving events occurred leading to the SR-22 requirement. For example, having a DUI will typically cause your rates to increase. Another factor that can affect insurance costs with SR-22s is if you no longer qualify for traditional insurance and need a provider specializing in high-risk insurance. When looking for a high-risk auto insurance policy, it’s always best to shop around in order to secure the most affordable rates.
How long do I need an SR-22 in Virginia?
In most cases, SR-22 certificates are required to be active for three consecutive years following the date of the driver’s conviction or qualifying incident.
How do I get SR-22 insurance in Virginia?
The first step to filing for an SR-22 certificate in Virginia is to find a high-risk auto insurance policy. After you’ve obtained a policy, inform your carrier of the SR-22 or FR-44 requirement and have them file the certificate with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. The forms should remain on-file for at least three consecutive years from the date of your conviction.
How much does SR-22 insurance cost in Virginia?
“SR-22 insurance” is a misnomer since SR-22s act solely as proof that the driver possesses the minimum auto insurance required by Virginia state law. In Virginia, the cost to file an SR-22 certificate ranges between $15 and $35 depending on a few factors. Because drivers holding an SR-22 are more likely to be considered high-risk, insurance carriers may charge more for your monthly premiums.
What is the minimum auto insurance coverage requirement in Virginia?
The minimum amount of auto insurance coverage required for high-risk drivers in Virginia varies depending on whether or not you need an SR-22 or FR-44 filed. For SR-22 forms, Virginians are required to have:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
- $20,000 per property damage
If a driver requires an FR-44, however, the minimum coverage required will be doubled:
- $50,000 per person
- $100,000 per accident
- $40,000 per property damage